EmptyArs Nova, New York
Through March 11
Bridget Everett is not slim, muscled or chic. Her silver-gray bustier barely contains her sizable breasts, and her stomach rolls out above her black thong, to which she occasionally strips down. Everett is a "big girl" and proud of it, and judging from the press-preview crowd for "At Least It's Pink: A Trashy Little Show" at off-off-Broadway's Ars Nova, her audience loves this singer-songwriter's in-your-face attitude.
Written by Everett, Michael Patrick King ("Sex and the City") and Kenny Mellman ("Kiki and Herb"), "Pink" is a funny, raunchy, loud, sometimes poignant musical celebration of one woman's down-and-dirty take on the big city.
Yes, Bridget Everett is as far from Carrie Bradshaw and her Manolos as a girl can get. Everett's sexed city is about white girl/black man chat rooms, bitching it out with your lover's wife and waking up next to a guy who is great in bed but exits your apartment before you can learn his name.
A lot of this material is funny, sometimes even touching. A number called "Popular" (Everett and Mellman composed most of the songs, and Mellman accompanies her on the piano) begins like a ballad but turns into a satiric riff on why she loves a guy who treats her like, well, dirt. Then there's a sweetly ironic lullaby about her dad who took off and an amusingly tough rap duet ("Back-stabbing Bitch") between her and her lover's wife (Rosa Curry), who stalks down the aisle to give Everett hell. Hand-grasping that mike, Everett attacks it all with her dauntless voice and titanic energy.
But most of the music for this 70-minute show isn't memorable. Everett's appeal is that she speaks and sings what's taboo. Like early Whoopi Goldberg or Karen Finley, she talks out loud about what women are not supposed to mention, at least not in public (abortions, her lovers' smells and sexual equipment, to name a few).
Goldberg used raw language to create characters, and Finley was scatological to vent her rage at a world that she felt was degrading women. Talented though as she is, it's not clear yet what Bridget Everett -- stand-up comedian, cabaret singer and unabashed big girl -- is all about.
AT LEAST IT'S PINK:
A Trashy Little Show
Presented by Ars Nova (Jon Steingart, Jenny Wiener, Jason Eagan)
Playwrights: Bridget Everett, Michael Patrick King, Kenny Mellman
Director: Michael Patrick King
Music and lyrics: Kenny Mellman, Bridget Everett
Set designer: Lauren Helpern
Costume designer: Angela Wendt
Lighting designer: Tyler Micoleau
Sound designer: Jorge Muelle
Bridget Everett, Rosa Curry, Sean Jenness, Peter Kim, Michael-Leon Wooley